Podcast Transcript – Olya Dyachuk from Heineken

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Nick King – 00:00:01: Welcome to the Time for a Reset podcast, where we interview senior marketers on the big issues of the day and how they’re dealing with those challenges in an ever-changing landscape. We deep dive into the latest trends, strategies and tactics that will help you stay ahead of the curve and stand out in a crowded marketplace. This episode is hosted by me, Nick King, Global Practices Lead at CVE. Let’s get into it. Welcome to Olya Dyachuk, who is the data driven media director at Heineken, where she leads a team of planning, buying data and technology experts who work to engage and deliver cohesive experiences for Heineken’s consumers. On top of this, Olya’s passion is to ensure that her brands’ media is sustainable, diverse, and inclusive. And she’s been there and done it with some of the biggest brands in the world, having risen to managing partner at OMD, where she led on brands such as McDonald’s and Bacardi. In her spare time, somehow, she managed to fit in being a mentor at South Bank University, supporting tomorrow’s talent. Great to have you on, Olya.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:00:56: Thanks for inviting me, it’s a pleasure.

Nick King – 00:00:59: We always start with the question, if you were to hit research on anything in digital marketing, what would it be? We’d love to hear your views on that.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:01:06: That’s a great question. Kind of timely I suppose. I think despite the fact that I work in media, and technically I would love separating media from creativity in this industry, I would actually hit the reset button on creativity for simple reason. I feel like often nowadays it’s downgraded to us as production and competition between media and creative, ATL, BTL. traditional and digital. And I feel we are losing the focus while doing that and become really operational in what we do. And it’s clearly seen in the work, in the fact that the creativity is basically delivering its lowest effectiveness in the last 24 years, according to the work that John Hegarty has done. And I’ve done his course in the business of creativity recently. Absolutely, I give so much respect to him. And it’s simple things that we need to bring back. Storytelling. Exciting people. Engaging people. And creating memorable experiences. And I think this is what we all could do better is basically being marketeers who think about creativity, however, take it to the next level and use all the exciting, powerful tools we have, the data, the tech, to make creativity even better. And I think that’s what we could do. Altogether, media, creative, marketeers…

Nick King – 00:02:37: I think that’s such a powerful call to action for the industry. Yeah. You see those top 10 lists of best ads and they all seem to be from about five to ten years ago. Yeah. And yeah, if you had to, from somebody outside the industry, you’d be hard pushed to remember one for the last couple of years.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:02:55: Yeah. But also the creativity drives business growth as well. Yeah. So more creative companies drive higher return to their shareholders. And I think someone like, I think McKinsey proved that. So, well, it delivers.

Nick King – 00:03:10: Yeah, I think that’s an undeniable fact. That’s a great place to start. You’ve worked with some really great brands in your career. You moved from agency side to client side. What attracted you to Heineken in the first place?

Olya Dyachuk – 00:03:22: I would say that when you are working on the agency side, you have a luxury of moving between businesses, which gives you a great opportunity to understand various cultures, ways of working, people. But what that means is you can move between cultures. And what was important for me when I was looking for my next challenge, A, obviously, shift to the client side and opportunity. I think, transparently, to be exposed more to the business and actually deliver real business outcomes and feel like I can work beyond media, which I do right now. But also the fact that I want to work for the business that I share values with. And Heineken is that type of business because you live in one culture, you can’t change it. And I’ve done so much due diligence and talking to people about Heineken and I’ve not heard even one negative point. People love working with Heineken. People love working with Heineken people. The brands are amazing. Culture is great. And it’s just been getting better and better. Honestly, I love the business. I think it’s great business globally and locally. And we have amazingly open-minded, positive, dedicated, passionate people everywhere from marketing to supply chain.

Nick King – 00:04:47: That’s super inspiring. I think that the culture of companies is so vital, something that sometimes gets left behind, particularly in these slightly straightened financial times. Indeed. We talk a lot about the fact that we want to elevate marketing to the board level, that it’s not just a cost function. What’s the one thing that you’re doing to sort of elevate marketing to the boardroom at Heineken?

Olya Dyachuk – 00:05:10: I think that the one thing I keep working on is proving effectiveness. The only thing that can truly catch the attention of a CFO, CEO or anyone at the board level is an outcome. So I’ve been listening to gazillions of podcasts in the last few months, dedicated exactly to partially to that. Yeah. And how to create the right language. how to prove effectiveness. and to me that is the key. It’s how I can talk about I love ROS, I love ROI and Brand Power Metrics. And those are the key for us. And those are part of our KPIs when it comes to marketing. And there are business KPIs. And every company I’m sure have a KPI around revenue, profit margins, share of market, value share, volume share, etc. That’s the language that I would like to bring more of into what we do, but also try to find ways to measure the outcome to enable me to speak that language. I think that’s not an easy path for someone like us because we don’t own point of sale. In most of the cases, we do own pub business, but even within this pub business, most of it is listed tenants. So we actually rent it out to people and hence why we can’t have an access to our point of sale fully. So we have to rely on third party to provide us with the sales data for on and off trades for retailers and pub and restaurants, which slows things down and doesn’t help with attribution. However… I think we’ve been quite good internally with improving our marketing mix modelling and trying to get close to the revenue that we deliver and the actual brand power we deliver. And then also last couple of years of improving e-commerce, of starting really accelerating e-commerce really helped us to open doors and talk about the revenue that we bring and report on it really quickly. When we work with likes of Tesco or Cardo, someone, talk about indeed ROI, but also talk about share of shelf. And the value share that we deliver online shop versus offline. Those things truly make a change.

Nick King – 00:07:36: I think the measurement challenge is a massive one for the whole industry. But I actually think quite often that businesses such as yours that in the FMCG world are actually so far advanced because they haven’t been able to track things. So they’re not obsessed with cookie-based tracking.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:07:51: Yeah. Even though it’s an advantage, then it’s a curse a little bit isn’t it. So we have to be creative indeed. But still we are not can’t be as good as some of the digital-first businesses in truly understanding, for example, the consumer journey. We are doing it. and we are trying to do it… but we are not an online business that can use a variety of tech to understand your online behaviour, quickly track where people are, optimise the journey and create more transactions more often, and do better at cross-sale, up-sale and its something I’d like to do more of, working through the days and working with our partners.

Nick King – 00:08:34: Fascinating stuff. I wanted to dig into a little bit about, I talked a little bit at the beginning about one of your passions is sustainability and responsible media. What’s Heineken doing in that space? It was a big part of the WFA conference recently, and I’d love to see what you guys are doing.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:08:51: Yeah, I’ll be honest, I think before I moved to Heineken, the responsible media topic, beyond I suppose the diversity and inclusion, wasn’t really part of the agenda in the media world. So I think the move to Heineken changed it for me. I don’t know, somehow coming in and to start hearing about the Brew a Better World, which is our strategy for being responsible business and that incorporates the sustainability aspect, the basically diversity, equity, inclusion, but also responsible consumption. It kind of made me think because you hear a lot about supply chain. Supply chain because what we do we’re trying to use less water in supply chain. Our side is trying to be fully sustainable. We are trying to use less electricity and use it basically more sustainable. But then I was like, well, what’s media? I mean, what are we doing? Are we doing like a much, and this is where I think we had a great opportunity with my team to lead on it. And being in marketing, like there’s people who come with ideas around sustainable media and responsible media and basically inspire our brand teams and BtL teams and others who are extremely open-minded, positive and brilliant to do more of it. But also because we have an excuse of having brilliant brands in our portfolio that are reflective of either the D&I or sustainability agenda because you can’t be everything. You have to have it true to your brand DNA or true to your business. Like our corporate strategy is true to us. Everybody in the business knows about it, feels it, and it’s a part of what we do. Same with the brand. So we have brilliant Inch’s Cider that I mentioned, which is made 100% of British apple, sustainable brand. This is how we position. It’s in our DNA. And Inch’s was the first brand to test almost everything we do in sustainable media. From creating out of homes sites with clear channel that basically clean the air and then we use this site to turn into tote bags that we gave away to actually then the running this year, the first carbon neutral digital campaign that we launched in house. Work in progress, it’s running, we see amazing results so far but this is Inch’s. You can feel it and we want to work for it because it’s… That’s what we do, but then we also deliver the business. We are growing category to this brand. And then we have Old mood, which is supporting WWF, different angle. And then we have brands like Heineken and Strongbow. which are more around inclusivity. and We have great opportunity with Heineken last year and Women’s Euros to actually bring that inclusivity angle and with the campaign cheers to all fans and supporting sport, like women’s sports. Again, it was translated into media. It was translated into type of partners we worked with, which was like a lot of female talent, a lot of people, abilities, talent, great, absolutely great influencers, absolutely central to what we did. And then Strongbow this year, who has been as well basically supporting British culture for a while, but this year we are, hopefully we can take it to the next level with Heineken as a business supporting Pride. working with Purple Goat as a consultant to help us to do it in the right way as well. And again, taking it to media, yeah, because we work with PinkNews and we plan to work with other partners. And it’s just an ongoing process of aligning to our brands and making sure that we are testing and learning basically for this series. Sorry, it’s a long-winded answer.

Nick King – 00:12:48: No, that’s brilliant. I love to hear what you’re doing. I love that supported women’s sport. I’ve been to some of the Red Roses matches and some of the women’s… It’s kind of the fact that brands are getting behind them. It’s that sort of virtuous circle that means the number of people are going and it’s great for brands and everybody wins really. Do you have any sort of hard defined goals? You talked about that sort of testing framework. Is there anything that you said that we have to hit X by Y?

Olya Dyachuk – 00:13:17: Good question. So when it comes to both elements, we tried to put some guidelines. and KPIs. So those are hard KPIs for my team. We started with a simpler one, which is investment with those partners, with sustainable and D&I partners. That was our last year target. Partially we’ll take it into this year because we’d like to take it to the next level. We are trying to add though, and this is where it goes back to measurement. So because sustainability is not something that we can consistently measure as an industry and we are a part of ESPA, so we are part of sustainability group that again, highlighting the same challenges working with that net zero that we need to standardise measurement process, standardise the calculators to actually being able to understand how much we produce, how can we reduce it. So while this is happening, we’ve been collaborating with our agency and again, it’s so important to have right partners. Dentsu has been so aligned to our culture when it comes to both D&I and sustainability that we are the first beta tester for the carbon calculator and pretty much working with them to help them to improve the product. So we used it as a starting point to measure how much carbon we produce. We’re trying to reach the metric because you can’t just measure the number. You put more investment, you change media mix and suddenly your number goes up or number goes down. So you can massage it any way you want. Well, I want something more specific. And I know that feels quite challenging because of that. So we are trying to arrive to a metric of CO2 per GRP or 1000 impressions. And basically we’re literally having a meeting in the next few weeks to understand how this is going to shape our annual QPI, because the ambition is to say we would like to increase the CO2 by X percent from our campaigns. So yeah, we’ll see how that’s going to pan out. But meanwhile, investment with those partners is important as a metric. And we also try to expand it into production by bringing our creative agencies, social influence agencies and basically. encouraging them as well to utilise our industry calculator for production, which is basically the tool that helps everybody. So hopefully this is going to help us a little bit as well in the tracking.

Nick King – 00:15:52: In fact, I was actually going to ask you what can other businesses do? And so I’m assuming that you’d like everybody to adopt your calculator. Is there anything else that you’d recommend that businesses should adopt from a sustainability point of view?

Olya Dyachuk – 00:16:06: So the calculator is called AdGreen. just to let people know it’s basically it’s valuable there for the businesses in the UK. When it comes to adopting things, I think mindset is the starting point. Adopting a mindset of responsible marketing being a growth driver is important because it is a growth term. Yeah, so we know that people are ready to, consumers, I think, are ready to spend more on sustainable products. I think one of the merits is the research. I absolutely love Lydia Amoah who runs the Black Pound Report. I think she claims that there is like… 4.5 billion of disposable income amongst those multi-ethnic communities. It’s a growth source. Yeah. So start with that and then approach it like you do in anything. Test and learn is a starting point. Testing, learning, getting best practices. and then turning things into business as usual. That’s what we did. Year one was about testing learning with the brands that are most willing and easy to adapt. Then year two, we turn some of those things into business as usual. So year three now, we are integrating it into our commercial planning and annual planning and we have a very simple processes and checkpoints to make sure we integrate sustainability, D&I, responsible consumption. into our process. And we have a checklist, very boring checklist that we give to everybody stakeholders as you move throughout your process. Please make sure that you check those things that for instance, you think about. What is the role of sustainability for your brand? What is the role of D&I for your brand? Then did you make sure that you explore the production in the UK before you moved somewhere else? What about people who work behind camera and in front of camera? Do you think about diverse talent? So all these things just help with the reinforcement of the mindset as well. So yeah, simple stuff. We do it all the time. Just learn, make it business as usual, keep learning, and take people on a journey.

Nick King – 00:18:23: Amazing. And I guess the question with all of this is, does it have positive business outcomes? But from the way you’re talking, because you’ve got all these checkpoints, it has to lead to profitability, I’m guessing.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:18:36: I can’t really say the profitability how that comes in but I’d say that example of Inch’s is a good one. We’re not going to say that all this out of home cider draw to the fact that we have acquired new category, like new drinkers in the cider category. However, the fact that all the activities we did or coming on the back of brand positioning, which is true to the brand, it gets translated into your media choices, into your creative. And that delivers amazing brand power. Like in year three, we’ve got absolutely incredible brand power results and we have good business results. On top of it, it’s a good fun, we won some awards. Lovely. We also like that. So that’s what we see. And with Heineken, I think Heineken is a good example. Last year with Women’s Heroes campaign. but also some really good brand results on the back. because you are relevant, because you did the right thing. for the society. I hope we will be able to track all of it better moving forward. But there are those simple success stories fill the point.

Nick King – 00:19:52: Yeah. So diving a little bit back into that data driven media director role, I’d love to dig into a bit that as sort of the industry has become more data and tech led, you’ve obviously got it in your job title. How does it change the operating model that you have within Heineken?

Olya Dyachuk – 00:20:14: So it’s something that’s a bit similar to the first, very first question about creativity. I think data and technology should be empowering people and simplifying things for people. Like most of the businesses, we will be always on the journey to improve our processes by using technology and data. So we are doing it in our buying. In simple terms, sorry, we’ll probably start with planning because it’s going through the process. We absolutely use data and tech to inform our planning and to reuse the CCS Planner with them so that is incorporating all sorts of questions, aspects, panel data all the way down to D&I aspects as well. Yeah, to help us to create. high quality audiences. We are now integrating more and more of retailer data into our planning, so bringing together a better brand and conversion. From CJ Brands, I think is a challenge because although we absolutely, 100% agree with Byron Sharp that we have to drive reach is important, there is absolutely room to make sure we scoop that demand better as well. So bringing together retail and a broad brand through data at the start of the process and throughout really helps. We use data and tech for buying more and more. And I think the platforms like Mehta, like Trade Desk, like Google, they all are using AI nowadays. They’re only using automation. So we’ve been adapting those tools for buying nonstop. So for my team, it’s an ongoing learning process. And obviously, we’ve been using for a few years, of course, dynamic creative optimization and tools for DCO. We’ve been doing it for our product campaigns. We’ve been doing it for our brand campaigns like Euros in 2021. Providing weather-related campaigns. It’s a basics for us now. And then when it comes to, I think measurement, of course, that also comes to life. We’re trying to use more and more automated ways to measure outcomes. I’d say this is the longest one for us to go again, because we just don’t own point of sale so we’re looking, it becomes a quite manual process for the business. So that’s I think where broadly we are. In terms of would this change operating model broadly, like if you take a level up from media into marketing? It won’t. I just thought, I can’t really see how our commercial planning is going to change because we have data and tech. What should happen is to become more effective and efficient. So we spend less time collecting the data for our identifying jobs to be done. And more time discussing those jobs to be done and making informed decisions. That’s I think where we all are trying to achieve. And what’s interesting there is AI. I bet the next question would be about AI.

Nick King – 00:23:23: I love the fact that you said that AI is just part of what you do because Google, Mehta, Trade Desk have all been using it. I sometimes think we’re trying to say that it’s completely radical. We’ve been talking about it for five years, but I would like to sort of see, is that something that you’re trying to think about and incorporate? Or are you just going, I’m already using it. This is just part of my standard operating process.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:23:49: I think this is it. I mean, we are not a tech company to produce our own AI fancy tools. Yeah. So what we do is we try to use what we’ve got. And I have a team of social buyers, programmatic buyers, and they work in the Trade Desk and they work in Mehta and they work in Pinterest and they go in and they have automated budget optimization, automated creative optimization, this and that. that I’m not even wearing. Well, what’s interesting is more the fact that there is a lot that is happening in the AI space in other parts of the business. And that’s what’s great. Like supply chain, our technology department. Data side. That’s where I think we can do more and more and more. And it’s exciting to see what business is going to do with that because Heineken is the business who is really bringing a lot of attention into data technology right now especially worries people I think is the fact that AI is going to come in take our jobs. And in my view, as you said, AI has been here. We’ve not been using it because it is not at the heart of our product. Our product is beer and cider. That’s what we sell.

Nick King – 00:25:04: Yeah.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:25:05: However, AI is going to change how we think, like the skills that we’ve got. So for my team and for the creative agencies that we’ve got, the media agencies that we’ve got. what I would like to see more of is people being asking the right questions to AI, because AI is as good as the question you ask. So to me, I think we should acquire and myself as well, more skills of asking the right questions to extract the value from AI and potentially just exactly be a bit more creative, be more strategic because AI gives you a great platform but then it’s up to you to take it and basically work with it. And I think that’s what the skills are going to be important is creativity, bridge task questions, strategic view and empathy. Something AI can’t do like empathy and the human touch.

Nick King – 00:26:00: I think that’s so spot on. I love the fact you’re embracing it, whilst also having a healthy challenge that it’s not solving all problems. And also, I think that questioning piece is so true. If you just ask it a really broad question, you get a load of rubbish out.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:26:17: Did you hear that, sorry to interrupt you, one of the universities, I can’t remember which one, actually now introduced the whole degree of working with generative AI and asking the right questions, like it’s a part of it. I was shocked. I was like, this is a proper response to what’s happening in the world.

Nick King – 00:26:32: Yeah, learning to ask good questions is, yeah, arguably should be a skill that we have anyway. You know, we’ve all been in interviews where the interviewer has turned you off because you’re a bit like, well, those aren’t good questions because you’re not finding stuff out about me. But it’s the same thing. You can either find out a lot or not find out much. And I can almost not ask this question just because it’s such big news and it’s being recorded on just after the Apple announcement last night of The Vision. the new AR glasses and things. Is that something that you go, we’ve got to find out loads or is that going, that’s just part of, it will be an interesting piece that we have to think about in a bit of time.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:27:14: Yeah, I say it’s about balancing act. Yeah, we all love a new shiny thing. And don’t get me wrong, if I get to test it, I’ll test it. Absolutely. Is it going to change my business tomorrow? I doubt it. In my personal opinion, is that we should do what we need to do well. Like make sure foundations are nailed. Yeah, we do media well, we do creative well…and keep an eye on what’s coming up. And like anything, any new technology and basically test it where we can. Yeah. But be honest, this is not going to change the world. We talked about Metaverse quite a bit, don’t we? And lots of brands are trying to do something there, and they’ve been doing great jobs. I mean, look at like, so like, Balenciaga. However, I doubt that this might represent the majority of the revenue and this will help with delivering to shareholders. It might in a few years when it’s properly scaled and becomes a part of our day in life. And the question for any business is how much time and money can you invest basically where your business is into those new shiny things. But it’s worth keeping an eye on those because, again, it’s a bit of inspiration and open mindedness and just very, very good ambitions to have.

Nick King – 00:28:43: Yeah, so interesting. So just want to wrap things up. You’re obviously a mentor at South Bank University. What’s the one piece of advice that you give to marketers and young professionals starting out in their career?

Olya Dyachuk – 00:28:56: Don’t give them advice until they ask.

Nick King – 00:28:58: Yeah. that should be replicated across the industry.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:29:05: I think, actually two things. One, I never talked about responsibilities a lot here. D&I. Sustainability, all of it. One thing we often forget is just think about people because we’re working with people in this industry. When you’re mean, think about people. Think about your team. Think about consumers. As boring as it sounds, we all say, put consumer at the heart, God, I mean, how many times I’ve heard this phrase? I like. Do we? Hmm. Are we putting our brands first? Are we putting our consumers first? What’s the answer? And I think it’s important to remember that. always ours. Yeah, we know. what’s first and how you make sure that people go first. Obviously, because people are the heart of delivering growth anyway. Because without your colleagues, without your team, without your consumers, you’re not going to grow. And second is stay excited. I mean, look at our industry, Nick. We discussed gazillions of things. We could spend hours here talking about everything that happened in the last three months. Yeah, and. just you can’t not to be excited. It’s an exciting industry. It’s fun. It’s moving, changing, challenging and there is always something to explore. That’s why I love it. Like every day I learn something new. So to me, love your people, think about them, and just be excited about what you do, and then you’re a lucky person and that’s what they love and hopefully build really good career.

Nick King – 00:30:39: Awesome. I hope anybody, any grads that I interviewed have spoken to you first, because they’ll pass with flying colours. I love people who just come with passion when thinking about others. I think that’s so true.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:30:49: Yeah. Passion for what you got. Again, I think we are very privileged people who love what they do. And it is privilege and love to do what you love and get paid for it. And having such a fun job. Our jobs are fun, genuinely compared to quite a lot of others.

Nick King – 00:31:07: Very true. Olya, it’s been absolutely brilliant talking to you. Thank you so much for your time.

Olya Dyachuk – 00:31:11: Same here, Nick. Thanks for inviting us and great questions. I love you, like reset question. Awesome, yeah, really nice.

Nick King – 00:31:19: Great. Thank you. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Time for a Reset. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll be back talking to another senior marketer very soon. Make sure to leave a review and catch you next time.

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